Time Frozen in the Ancient Village

Bad Internet Marketing

Because of the popularity of this blog, I get these emails just about every day. It is so crazy… I want any potential “internet marketers” that are reading this site to know that I don’t do paid-blog posts or any of that nonsense.

Companies send me FREE STUFF all the time. You should see my studio – I’ve got piles and piles of crappy stuff… everything from camera equipment to gadgets. I always tell people ahead of time that I only review it if I actually like it. This is because I am super-busy… and people are too busy to read 1000 reviews… so I just stick with the best stuff.

So, of the hundreds of things I have to review, I usually do only about one every two months. Don’t get your hopes up, marketers… and certainly don’t send me lame emails like this one I got a few days ago:

One of our major clients are currently working on making their website more visible in a particular Google search and we have indicated your site as a potential partner in this venture.

What we would like from you is a banner on the homepage and/or an article in the form of a blog post, product review or something similar. Our content is bespoke, tailored for your site and written by one of our professional in-house copy writers; we always ensure that content is relevant to both the client and the hosting site.

Daily Photo – Time Frozen in the Ancient Village

I feel like I’m in a hurry to take photos of all these ancient places before they become homogenized. I worry that in 10 years that every place will look like a typical street corner in Plano, Texas. Know what I mean? There’s nothing horrible about having a Home Depot and an Applebee’s within every five mile pod of super-structure, but it can lose a bit of charm after a while.

This is a famous old village in China where the legend tells of two phoenixes hovered endlessly, transfixed by the beauty they saw below. It’s located in the western part of central China’s Hunan Province. It’s called Feng Huang Cheng (“feng huang” being the Chinese name for the phoenix), and I’m happy I got to spend a few days wandering around its mysterious bits. This is a good overview of the city, and I’ll have many more from the insides coming soon enough.

BTW, if you are wondering how I made this… you may be interested in the textures tutorial.

High Dynamic Range Photo

  • “The” Gino

    I totally agree with that sentiment Trey. I can not afford to travel. In fact I have never been outside of The US. Rarely out of Texas for that matter. But I do take note of the homogenization of the world in general. Right around the corner from my home is a beautiful field that has about 7 old structures on it where a homestead once was. A well. A barn for horses. A home with a brick fireplace. It’s falling apart and it lovely.
    I recently heard that they will soon be bulldozing the field and old homes. Seems we need another shopping mall or something. Breaks my heart. Friday when it was snowing I once again jumped the fence to the field and took as many pictures of the field as I dared. I feel like I am saving these places from being forgotten. And so are you.

    Thanks brother.

  • Just plain ol’ rude Internet marketeers! Darn!! But the textured photo is super cool 😀

  • Ray

    Phoenix is actually the western name for this bird. Feng Huang is actually two birds — male and female. Or, yang and yin.

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  • casusan

    Lovely photo Trey – full of that old world charm!

  • “The” Gino

    BTW – Thanks for posting your interviews. They are strange to watch. The long pauses where you look like you are listening to a question through an ear piece for example. I have no idea what is happening, but I like the answers. You have always been unusually giving of yourself, your knowledge and your time. In fact you even address this in the latest interview.

    I was hoping you would answer a question that I have had. Just a curiosity really. I know that, at least at one point, you made your fortunes with a gaming company here in Austin. Has SIC Media now taken over your business life? Is SIC your primary focus these days? Your sole focus?
    The reason for the question is only that I wondered just how big this has become for you. Are you able to “pay the bills” solely on your art? How awesome would that be, especially considering how successful you already were in another business format.

  • Thanks all!

    Gino – yes – those long pauses are where I am listening to a question that you cannot hear! Hehe… also… I did not make fortunes with a gaming company. SIC is a serious business – and does well enough for me to do whatever I like, generally. I don’t like talking publicly about how big things are because most ppl don’t care about that stuff… and neither do I, really. I just like taking photos and having fun… I hope that is evident and most important! 🙂

  • Incredible the way marketers are so willing to degrade aesthetics and quality trying to promote a worthless product or service.
    This is one of the few sites that exist to provide free, interesting and high quality content on a daily basis — Without compromising on the delivery or quality of its content…
    Every business has cash-flow, but Trey has hit the nail on the head and found a way to ‘Take photos and have fun’ while inspiring others AND making a living… THAT is success.
    Bravo mate! May StuckInCustoms continue to grow and evolve for many years to come 🙂
    (Admins, remove my previous comment… Clicked submit a little early!)

  • The texture suits the old village, strange that this picture should come up as we are planing to go that direction in December using Ningbo as our base.Thats our home from home.To say the least about these marketing people they do have cheek.This is fun stuff for all to enjoy and you are doing a ok.Thank for sharing

  • Gail in Montana

    I agree with all the above, Trey. This small places are disappearing fast as our population explodes!! Tell those marketers to bag it. You don’t need them. Bad as the spam we get in our email. Great textured photo, I love it and the story!!! Have a wonderful Sunday, everyone. 🙂

  • Beautiful image Trey. Regarding ‘Gino’s’ remarks I think this quote says it well ‘Photographers can’t change the world but they can show the world changing’ ..

  • Lisa B

    Interesting……recently had the same conversation about Plano with my daughter-in-law. We were visiting there and she commented how it was just shopping center after shopping center, etc.

    Love the photo and the texture–there’s a combination of realism with the vintage feel that the texture brings. Makes me want to take a walk down the path and explore a little!

  • “The” Gino

    Trey –
    Thanks for the reply. I really wasn’t trying to pry into your finances. I was just curious how big SIC has really become. I have been following your work for so long and truthfully I *want* you to succeed. I feel like a bit of a groupie in that sense. You have always been so generous in letting us in on how you do what you do. I guess I am just happy to hear that you get to do this full time. I hope this is coming across the way I mean it to. Anyway – all the best wishes for you and your family – always.

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